The Turkish Van is known to be an ancient breed said to have been originated in Turkey in the Lake Van area. This is how it gets its name “The Turkish Van”. The extreme cold climate and the rugged mountainous landscape of the region have contributed to the solid build-up and the cashmere like fur of the Van. Legend has it that the Van had travelled in Noah’s Ark and swam ashore after the Ark landed on Mount Arafat and not Lake Van.
The Turkish Van was first brought to the United States in the 1970s. It was further recognized as a breed in the year 1985 by the International Cat Association. In 1988, it was registered by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Turkish Vans are highly social and affectionate and attached towards family members of which one or two might become their favorite. Vans are quite brainy and love to play with water. Often they break things that are kept on the shelves so you need to be careful all the time. It is often called as the “swimming cat”. These are non travelers. Often a trip to the vet might result in peeing, pooping or vomiting in the car.
- Activity level: 5/5 (highly energetic and playful, good at hunting)
- Intelligence level: 5/5 (highly intelligent)
- Curiosity: 4/5 (curious to learn new things)
- Friendliness: 5/5 (extremely affectionate and friendly towards everyone)
- Vocal: 4/5 (very vocal and prefers being the center of attention)
Turkish Vans are semi-long haired cats with colored markings especially on the head and tail. High cheekbones, bright eyes, and the straight Asiatic nose give it an exotic appearance. These are well built cats with a short sized neck, broad muscular shoulders and a fully brushed tail.
- Fur: The water resistant coat features fur that is cashmere soft from the roots till the ends. There is no undercoat in Vans. These are mostly white cats with colored patches in places; however, the background may be of other colors like black or brown.
- Eyes: Vans have very odd eye colors. Sometimes the two eyes are of two different colors like one blue and the other amber.
- Body structure: They have a medium sized body that is heavily built. Broad shoulders and sturdy legs are significant features.
- Facial features: Straight nose, high cheek bones and beautiful colored eyes are its striking features. The ears are pink on the inside and medium sized.
- Weight: Vans reach 10 to 18 lb on maturity.
Turkish Vans are known to be healthy cats with no proof of any kind of genetic disease. However, most Vans are known to suffer from heart disorders mainly hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This condition can be diagnosed by an echocardiography.
The absence of an undercoat makes the fur of Vans less prone to mats and tangles. Weekly combing with a slicker brush is all the coat maintenance it needs. Also the water resistant coat makes bathing rarely necessary for it. Hygiene can be maintained with weekly bathing. You can trim the nails once in two weeks and teeth can brushed once a week to keep periodontal disease at bay.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org